Denis Matsuev

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Review on the Concert at La Roque-d’Anthéron Festival

Le plus jeune a ouvert les feux avec le 1er Concerto pour piano de Tchaïkovski. L’insolence de sa virtuosité s’appuie sur la joie d’être au monde et le plaisir du jeu. Un bonheur physique et combatif. Denis Matsuev attaque le clavier à plein corps, ses doigts ronds plantés dans les touches. A quarante ans, il conserve ce tempérament d’enfant bagarreur qui le propulse allègrement au sommet des partitions les plus ardues. Il fallait bien cette force joviale et une diabolique improvisation jazz en bis pour calmer l’agacement d’une partie du public, après une demi-heure de retard due au plan Vigipirate. Et pour contrer la vigueur des cigales que la canicule a stimulées pendant toute la durée du concert…

Son Tchaïkovski charnel, puissant, lyrique et virtuose perd tout maniérisme dans une interprétation qui soulève des tempêtes. Mais la fluidité des notes transforme chaque déferlement en embruns scintillants. Matsuev survole la vélocité et libère des énergies telluriques sur une tranquillité désarmante. Plus athlète que poète, jusque dans les nuances les plus douces, il installe l’œuvre dans un combat contre les éléments. Dont il sort vainqueur sans la moindre peine.

Le Temps


Jubelstürme für Denis Matsuev

Rund 800 Fans feiern den russischen Starpianist in der Stadthalle mit Ovationen

Gütersloh. Für Pathos hat Denis Matsuev wenig übrig. So umstandslos der russische Starpianist die Bühne betritt oder sie nach beendetem Spiel wieder mit knapper Verneigung verlässt - so schnell, dass die Beleuchtung kaum nachkommt - so direkt nimmt er sich auch die Werke dieses Abends in der Stadthalle vor.

Und da diese Schlachtrösser der Virtuosenliteratur von dem Musiker aus dem sibirischen Irkutsks mit beispielloser Grandezza bewältigt werden, bleibt den rund 800 Besuchern gar nichts anderes übrig, als den 39-Jährigen von Anfang an begeistert, am Ende gar euphorisch zu feiern.

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Concert review: Brilliant lineup of Prokofiev's best works by London Symphony Orchestra

Denis Matsuev plays with bravura, and the concerto provided an ideal vehicle to show off pianistic ability. He excelled in the percussive and dramatic passages, and was no less convincing in lyrical sections, and totally revelled in the glissandos. As much as he was dazzling in his control and massive dynamics, a fully satisfying performance of the concerto calls for greater regard for the splashes of irony, levity and delicacy to be found in the writing.

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First reviews on Denis Matsuev's concert in Barbican Hall. London Evening Standard

The highlight, though, was Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto. This is not for the faint-hearted pianist; it demands muscular dexterity and an ability to deliver, not only a quality of ardent longing but also something of the cocktail lounge. Matsuev responded with thrilling virtuosity, his fingerwork faultless, his rhythmic drive flexible and imposing.

Nick Kimberley

London Evening Standard


Reviews on American Tour of Denis Matsuev

Pianist Denis Matsuev’s power overwhelms

Even in today’s overrun piano virtuoso market, Denis Matsuev stands out. On the evidence of his recordings, he possesses an epic technique, playing with seemingly superhuman speed, power, and agility.

At his Saturday recital in Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, it was pleasant to discover that Matsuev can also produce the kind of singing tone and silvery pianissimo most pianists only dream about.

In his curtain-raiser, Matsuev responded with grace and swagger to the impish brilliance of Haydn’s Sonata in E-flat major, Hob. XVI: 52. The masterly second movement showed Matsuev at something like his best, demonstrating suave phrasing and extraordinary tonal refinement.

Boston Globe

Seth Herbst 


Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2/Denis Matsuev, piano/Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev

I was anticipating a huge, monstrously bombastic performance of the First Concerto under the fingers of the powerful and technically phenomenal Matsuev, and he did not disappoint in that regard. 

Few pianists would seem to be more adept at the sometimes quite un-pianistic writing that the 34-year-old non-pianist Tchaikovsky would create, pouring his heart into the work only to have it shot down by the original dedicatee, the oft-times thuggish Nicolai Rubinstein, who called it “worthless and unplayable”. 

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Review: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2/Denis Matsuev, piano/Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev

This Mariinsky CD includes Concertos 1 and 2. The Concerto No. 1, not too popular at the first performance, has become the benchmark for today’s virtuoso display. I recently heard it live with Bronfman and Dudamel in Los Angeles; it never loses its appeal. Matsuev manages much of Bronfman’s power, but under the critical ear of the microphone, his technique is flawless and Gergiev accompanies beautifully. Only one flat horn phrase in the 2nd Concerto suggests that the Mariinsky Orchestra is almost the completed project. As such, it fares better than some of the recent Shostakovich Symphonies — same conductor, recording company, and hall.

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Review by of a new disc "Tchaikovsky. Piano Concertos 1&2 - Matsuev, Gergiev (Mariinsky label)

The Russian pianist Denis Matsuev has already shown his dazzling virtuosity on record in works by Shostakovich, Shchedrin, Rachmaninov and others. On this new generously filled (78'32”) SACD from the Mariinsky label he performs both of Tchaikovsky's completed Piano Concertos accompanied by Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra.

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La Orquesta del Royal Concertgebouw en el Teatro Colón : Matices sinfónicos

La Rapsodia sobre un tema de Paganini (1934) de Sergei Rachmaninov fue la obra común a los dos programas presentados este año, que permitió por un lado conocer al brillante pianista ruso Denis Matsuev, pero también volver a percibir que la concentración de cada atril, la perfecta afinación y el justo equilibrio sonoro siguen siendo una marca distintiva de la orquesta holandesa.